GREENSBORO-The North Carolina A&T women's basketball team was bested by Charlotte 57-47 on Tuesday evening at Corbett Sports Center, as the 49ers outrebounded the Aggies and used their defense to shut down the Aggie guards.
"My hat goes off to Charlotte," said A&T head coach Tarrell Robinson. "They came in with a game plan and it worked out for them."
The Aggies allowed 20 offensive rebounds against the 49ers, which allowed Charlotte to earn 19 second-chance points. The Aggies have given up 43 offensive boards in their last two games-a stat which does not please Robinson.
"The 20 offensive rebounds hurt us more than anything," Robinson said. "We've got to do a better job boxing out. We've got to rebound. We've got to do better. This is about want to. Wanting to run up and put your body on somebody and pushing off."
Charlotte had 14 offensive boards in the second half, which allowed them to pull away from the Aggies.
A 3-pointer by Hillary Sigmon, who had five on the night, gave the 49ers a 42-28 lead with 13:40 left. Charlotte slowly began to pull away, taking a 16-point lead with 9:09 left on a free throw by Tori Carter. A 3-point play by Jai Forney made it a 54-33 Charlotte advantage with 7:56 left.
The Aggies made a late run but never got any closer than 10 points.
While senior forward JaQuayla Berry provided 15 points and junior forward Tracy King had 14 for the Aggies, reigning MEAC Player of the Week Amber Calvin only had two points. Calvin, who had 17 points in the first half on Saturday, was effectively shut down by Charlotte, which hampered the Aggies' scoring efforts.
"They did a good job on Amber. They made it tough for her to get her feet set. She was frustrated a little bit," Robinson said. "We look for her, we need her energy, and a lot of times that comes from when she's scoring and she's into the game. She was missing in action tonight."
The Aggies were unable to hold onto the lead they created early. A&T took a 12-9 lead with 13:21 on a 3-point play by redshirt freshman center Eboni Ross. It was A&T's first lead of the game. Lyons followed that with a layup to make it a 14-9 lead for the Aggies with 12:43 left. An 8-1 run gave the 49ers a 17-15 lead, but two Berry free throws tied the game. Charlotte took control from there. Sigmon hit a pair of threes to give the 49ers a six-point cushion. They never relinquished the lead again.
"I just felt that from an energy standpoint, we didn't do the things that we did up in Liberty," he said. "Charlotte just had us mentally. That's what I just talked to them about. That was the only disappointing thing about it. We talked about first five minutes of the game and the first five minutes of the second half-really putting our stamp or impression on this game. It didn't work out for us."
The Aggies will look to bounce back as A&T will host William & Mary, Friday at noon.
"We want to finish the break on a good note. We'll practice tomorrow, do some walk-through to get ready for William & Mary and try to beat the Tribe," said Robinson.